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School of Geography

Computer Programming for Social Scientists - Autumn School

  • Location: LIDA, University of Leeds
  • Cost: £280 for postgraduate students, £500 for researchers, academic staff, public and charitable sector staff*
  • Application deadline: 17th July 2016
  • How to apply
  • Contact: Eleri Pound

* Fees will include tuition, refreshments and lunches for the week. Travel and accommodation are not included in the fee. Accommodation on campus is available and can be booked through: www.meetinleeds.co.uk/shortbreaks. Individuals, however, will be free to arrange alternative accommodation.

This hands-on seven day summer school aims to bring social scientists without any programming experience to the point where they can program their own social science models and applications. It will provide a beginner’s-level introduction to computer programming using examples drawn from social science. It will also introduce key libraries, methodologies, and platforms available for social science programmers.

The emphasis for the school will be on practical, hands-on development of skills, each day building up core programming ideas. Students will learn the high-level programming language Java. Java was chosen because it is the most in-demand language in industry, and because people who learn the language should have no difficulty subsequently picking up other languages. Students will be introduced to general good practice in coding and other aspects of programming.

Practical work will include building up social science models. Practicals will centre on Agent-Based Modelling, as it is a powerful technique that is nevertheless relatively clear for beginners. However, the course will also introduce students to Spatial Microsimulation, a range of Artificial Intelligence techniques, and Scientific Visualisation. Days four and seven will be “hacking” workshops specifically for students to build their own software with advice from experienced staff.

For more information check out the poster.